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Orange County SC announce partnership with Dutch giant Feyenoord

Club expands connections as youth-to-pro pipeline develops.

OCSC players Bryce Jamison, Alex Villanueva and Korede Osundina training at Feyenoord
Courtesy of Orange County SC

Orange County SC announced on Wednesday they have entered a multi-year partnership agreement with Dutch club Feyenoord Rotterdam. The agreement is intended to be a “collaborative and mutually beneficial approach to player loans, development and talent identification.”

The clubs will look to identify young talent and give them opportunities to play for Orange County SC in the USL Championship before potentially making the move to the Netherlands to play for Feyenoord. In addition, OCSC players will get opportunities to train at Feyenoord, as current Orange County young pros Bryce Jamison, Alex Villanueva and Korede Osundina have done this offseason. And the clubs will explore opportunities to send players on loan between the clubs.

“We take a lot of pride being recognized as a club that is on the forefront of player development in the U.S. and are excited to partner with Feyenoord, which is a very well-respected club in world football,“ said Oliver Wyss, President of Soccer Operations and General Manager, in a statement. “This milestone partnership validates our extensive investment into player development and will elevate our already very successful pathway to new levels. Collaborating and learning from Feyenoord’s innovative ways will improve the technical side of our club and set us up for long term success both on the field and in the global transfer market.”

“This is more than just a basic partnership, this gives both clubs the opportunities to share knowledge on player recruitment, player development and much more,” said USL Technical Director Mark Cartwright. “The potential to have players from Feyenoord ply their trade here in the USL will only help continue to raise the quality of play here in our league.”

Feyenoord is one of the biggest clubs in the Netherlands, having won 15 Dutch first division titles, most recently in 2016-17, 13 Dutch Cups, the European Cup in 1969-70, and two UEFA Cups. Last season, they reached the final of the inaugural Europa Conference League, falling to Roma. The likes of Dirk Kuyt and Robin van Persie are among their former players, and Feyenoord is known for having very dedicated fans.

Feyenoord at present has considerable North American ties: club CEO Dennis te Kloese most recently served as LA Galaxy general manager, and had previously led the Mexican FA’s soccer operations and worked for Chivas both in Mexico and the United States. Feyenoord defender Marcos Lopez was transferred from the San Jose Earthquakes last year, and forward Santiago Giménez is a rising young Mexican national team star. So the club has some real institutional knowledge of the North American landscape and seems willing to give youngsters who have played professionally over here a real chance.

This new partnership for Orange County SC comes alongside the ongoing relationship they share with Scottish club Rangers FC, which began in 2020. In that time, several Rangers players have come to OCSC on loan, several veterans have signed outright with OCSC, and one player to date, goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes, has transferred from Orange County to Rangers. If Orange County can replicate the relationship with Feyenoord, then that gives them another pathway for young talented players while also bolstering their own squad in some fashion as well. All in all, it seems like a good match on both sides.

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